Anyone who appreciates video games realizes the incredible amount of artistry that goes into composing the music for such games—even the 8-bit sound effects of the earliest consoles in the ’80s and ’90s. These musical elements helped lay the foundation for the more dramatic, sweeping soundtracks that we associate with popular video games today.
What you might not know is that many of the earliest video game composers were women, despite the male dominance of the industry as a whole. Often hired straight out of college, these artists were set to work laying down tracks for hits like Castlevania, Mega Man, and Bionic Commando. Yet, they rarely if ever received credit. Pseudonyms or nicknames were commonly used in the industry, and historians or archivists may have written off early video game music as frivolous.
In this episode of Get WIRED, you’ll hear from games writer and video game music expert Dia Lacina. Dia recently discovered an old photograph of a group of women composers, and set out to learn more about them—what they worked on, what inspired them, and how their early work helped create a lasting legacy in video game music. From Bach to Top Gun, from 8-bit to the orchestra, this Get WIRED episode takes you on a harmonic journey through the sounds you probably still remember, created by the women who shouldn’t be forgotten.
How to Listen
You can listen to Get WIRED through the audio player on this page, and subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts.
More Great WIRED Stories